Monarch Season 1 Ending, Explained: Is Lee Shaw Dead?

Apple TV+’s ‘Monarch: Legacy of Monsters’ wraps up its first season with an episode that answers a lot of questions while also setting up enough mysteries for the second season. The last episode ended with the revelation of Keiko Randa’s survival in the Monster world, but the final episode puts more pressing questions in front of them. As the quartet tries to find a way out of the alien world they are trapped in, they soon realize that there is much more at stake and not everyone might make it back. SPOILERS AHEAD

Monarch Season 1 Episode 10 Recap

Cate is saved by Keiko, who scares away a monster that would have definitely made a meal out of her. While Cate processes the fact that her grandmother is not only still alive but also of the same age she presumably died at, Keiko believes Cate is with the rescue party sent to get her back home. But then, she meets Lee and realizes that the home she’d left behind doesn’t exist anymore. For her, barely two months have passed in the Monster world, but it is already 2015 on Earth, and almost everyone Keiko knew and loved is gone.

Keiko would grieve, but there is no time for it. Lee reminds them that the more time they spend in this world, the farther in the future they will land. They have to find a way back, or they will skip another generation. Meanwhile, on Earth, Keiko’s signal is finally intercepted by Monarch, but they are too busy to act on it because they are preparing for another G-day-type event. When Tim realizes that he won’t receive any help from his organization, he seeks out Kentaro and Hiroshi, who turn towards an unexpected ally for help.

Monarch Season 1 Ending, Explained: How do Keiko, May, and Cate Come Out of Axis Mundi?

When Keiko fell into the Monster world, she was lucky not to have been eaten up by the monsters. But her luck was bolstered by her resourcefulness. She quickly took to her surroundings and learned to live in this new world, but she was also looking for a way out and eventually found the things that would help her create an SOS signal she hoped would be found by someone on Earth.

Unbeknownst to Keiko, Lee had also been to Monster World (which she calls Axis Mundi) a couple of years after her presumed death. After what he thought was a week, he returned to Earth but didn’t do it willingly. In fact, he was sucked into the portal after a Titan showed up. Now that he’s back here, Lee looks for the pod in which he came to Monster World. For him, it’s been years, but for the pod, it has only been a few weeks, so it is not that damaged or torn. It’s in good enough shape to house four people and get them back home.

With Keiko’s help, Lee is able to connect the pod to the device she used to create the SOS signal. Now, all they need is for a Titan to arrive and activate the portal so they can travel through it. The pod has the device used to attract Titans. Eventually, the portal is activated, and as expected, the pod is sucked into it, bringing its passengers back home. But not all of them make it back.

Is Lee Shaw Dead?

Life threw many curveballs at Lee Shaw, but the thing that he perhaps did not see coming was Keiko in Monster World. He thought she’d fallen to her death during the expedition in 1959, but it turns out she had survived. While he is happy to see her alive, he also feels sad for all the time they lost, all the time he, Billy, and Hiroshi spent believing she was dead, and all the time they spent not looking for her. Now that he knows she is alive, Shaw wants to get her back home, no matter what. And it is for this that he sacrifices himself.

When Keiko discovers that the world has hopped decades in her absence, she tells herself she doesn’t belong there anymore and should stay in the Monster world. She is sad about all the time and people she has lost, but Lee and Cate remind her that there is still a world and a life waiting for her out there, and she must go. So, when the pod gets stuck, and someone needs to get it fixed manually, Lee runs out of the door. He does it knowing that he might not make it back to the pod in time, but that’s not what he is concerned about.

When the portal is activated, the pod is sucked in its direction, but there is too much weight bogging it down. At that point, Lee is holding onto Keiko’s hand, trying her best not to let him fall. When he realizes that the portal will close soon and some dead weight will have to be cut off, he decides to let go of Keiko’s hand. As he falls, the pod flies away and is taken back to the Earth. We don’t know if Lee falls to his death or if he simply falls and survives, which leaves a sliver of hope for his survival. Considering that he falls from a height, there is a possibility that he might not have survived the fall, but because there is no dead body, there is no correct answer to this question at the moment.

How Long Were Cate, May, and Keiko in the Monster World?

Keiko fell into the Monster world in 1959. Cate and May fell into it in 2015. Together, they come out of it in 2017. For them, barely a day had passed in the Monster world. Everything happened so quickly. Cate woke up and found her grandmother. What seemed like a few hours later, they found May and Lee, and another few hours later, they were already making way for their rescue and were inside the pod.

On Earth, however, months were passing by in a matter of hours. In that time, Kentaro was rescued and brought back home. His wounds healed, and while he grieved May and Cate, his father came back home, and they had a huge fight. Both of Hiroshi’s wives divorced him, and he continued his work, not knowing his daughter and mother were still alive. Tim failed to convince his boss to respond to Keiko’s SOS and turned towards Apex to help him after Kentaro and Hiroshi were on board.

Apex agreed to fund the rescue, but building the setup itself required a lot more time. It might not have seemed so complex, but the process took a lot of time and resources, and finally, Cate, May, and Keiko were rescued, partly due to their own efforts to escape Monster World. As soon as they leave the pod, they realize something is different. They know they are not with Monarch, but they relax when Kentaro shows up, only to be shocked when they discover that about two years have passed since they fell into the portal. It’s good that they didn’t wait for help to arrive and immediately started working on their rescue, or it might have taken even longer, and they would have skipped decades, like Keiko.

The passage of time also puts the trio in an unexpected position. They know nothing about Apex; at least, Cate and Keiko don’t. May had a brief experience working for them, but she knows that Apex is no better than Monarch. In fact, they just might be worse. But there is nothing she can do about it now because it seems like Kentaro, Hiroshi, and Tim are already knee-deep into whatever Apex is doing, and after the rescue, she, Cate, and Keiko are also stuck with them.

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